4 August 2011

Anaa adruss al-lugha al-Arabiya

I've been learning (Modern Standard) Arabic for the past few months: I love to try interacting with people in their native language, beyond just being fond of learning new languages. I'm not quite there yet (I wish I could spend more time on my Arabic homework), especially when it comes to reading the book that a significant chunk of the world population considers holy.

Ramadan started last Monday. I started reading the Quran (in English) and will finish reading it by the end of the month, trying to get a better understanding of a part of the Arab culture and of the Muslim world in general. Indeed should one always try to read and understand all sides of a story before forming an opinion.

This is maybe why I love debating. Debating means respecting everyone's opinion even if not agreeing with it. Debating means preparing and submitting rational arguments, without ever being a position in which one's emotions come first, or worse, in which one's behaviour can be criticised.

I have of course many questions (and doubts) about the Quran (I'm using the very useful commenting system in Google Docs to annotate verses), just as I have them with other religious books: questions ranging from philosophical concepts, to historical and scientific claims.

Anyhow, I'm thinking it could be fun to organise "debating video hangouts" with speakers taking the opposing stance from what they believe themselves, and people watching could vote on who was the most convincing (not necessarily vote for what they initially believed was right). We could do this on any topic, ranging from philosophical notions to things happening currently around the globe. What do you think? Interested?